Parliament has passed the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2022 after the proposal to have members’ contributions to the fund, was dropped.
The President had earlier declined to assent to the bill and returned to Parliament.
Parliament had passed the bill earlier with an amendment to have government increases the Members of Parliament contribution from 30 to 40 per cent.
The President in a letter to the Speaker Anita Among objected to the increment stating that the Ministry of Finance advised that the Bill that was presented to them for assessment of its financial implications did not include amendments to increase government contribution.
The President also added that the appropriate quantum for contribution can only be determined by an actuarial valuation of the Parliamentary Pensions Scheme.
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in its report to Parliament stated that, ‘whereas the Bill had proposed to increase the member’s contribution from 15 to 20 per cent, there was indeed no provision increasing government contribution’.
“This means that the proposal to increase government contribution towards members of the scheme was not evaluated at the time the Bill was issued a
certificate of financial implications since it was introduced by the committee
after the certificate had been issued,” said Hon. Robinah Rwakoojo, chairperson of the committee.
Rwakoojo also added that the committee examined the recommendation by the President and agreed that there is need for the Board to appoint an actuary to examine the current and future needs of the scheme in order to ascertain the quantum of the government contribution.
“The committee is therefore, of the considered opinion that the Board should be
directed to carry out an actuarial study to evaluate the future needs of the scheme and to evaluate whether government contribution ought to be increased in order to address the current and future needs of the scheme,” she added.
Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality) moved a motion for the House to consider the recommendation by the committee.
“This Bill is so critical to our welfare that we should not live in pretence of its significance. We want assurance from the Finance Minister on how best we can bring it back without offending the law and provisions therein,” Basalirwa said.
In the Committee of the whole House, the State Minister for Finance and MPs unanimously agreed to the recommendation to appoint an actuary to determine government’s contribution to the Parliamentary Pensions Scheme.